Purpose: To identify the effect of additional elastic force on the kinetic and kinematic characteristics, as well as the magnitude of leg stiffness, during the performance of accentuated countermovement jumps (CMJs).
Methods: Fifteen trained male subjects performed 3 types of CMJ including free CMJ (FCMJ; ie, body weight), ACMJ-20, and ACMJ-30 (ie, accentuated eccentric CMJ with downward tensile force equivalent to 20% and 30% body mass, respectively). A force platform synchronized with 6 high-speed infrared cameras was used to measure vertical ground-reaction force (VGRF) and displacement.
Results: Using downward tensile force during the lowering phase of a CMJ and releasing the bands at the start of the concentric phase increased maximal concentric VGRF (6.34%), power output (23.21%), net impulse (16.65%), and jump height (9.52%) in ACMJ-30 compared with FCMJ (all P < .05). However, no significant difference was observed in the magnitude of leg stiffness between the 3 modes of jump. The results indicate that using downward recoil force of the elastic material during the eccentric phase of a CMJ could be an effective method to enhance jump performance by applying a greater eccentric loading on the parallel and series elastic components coupled with the release of stored elastic energy.
Conclusions: The importance of this finding is related to the proposition that power output, net impulse, takeoff velocity, and jump height are the key parameters for successful athletic performance, and any training method that improves impulse and power production may improve sports performance, particularly in jumping aspects of sport.